Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARBER, Francis, soldier, born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1751; died in Newburg, New York, 11 February 1783. He was of Irish parentage, was graduated at Princeton in 1767, and in 1769 became principal of the academy in Elizabethtown, where he had among his pupils Alexander Hamilton and others who became distinguished. In February 1776, he was commissioned a major in the 3d New Jersey artillery, and in November of that year a Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1777 he became assistant inspector-general under Baron Steuben. He served with his regiment under General Philip Schuyler, in the northern army, and fought in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown, and was wounded severely at Monmouth. During his recovery he performed valuable service in obtaining intelligence of the enemy's movements, the importance of which was acknowledged in letters of General Washington that are still preserved. He accompanied Sullivan's Indian expedition in 1779 as adjutant-general, and received a severe wound at Newtown. He also took part in the action at Springfield. In 1780 General Washington entrusted to him the task of enforcing a requisition for grain and cattle in Gloucester County, New Jersey, and in 1781 selected him for the delicate duty of quelling the mutiny of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania troops. In Lafayette's Virginia campaign of 1781 he performed effective service at the head of a battalion of light infantry. He was present at the battle of Yorktown, and was killed at the close of the war by a falling tree.
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